Where To Stay In Malaga: Best Areas and Hotels

Where to stay in Malaga? This is a question that many people ask themselves when they are planning their trip. The answer really depends on your personal preferences, but I am going to give you some information about each of the best areas to stay in Malaga so that you can make an informed decision.

Whether you’re interested in Malaga because you know about its history, you’ve had it recommended by a friend or simply because you’ve found some great deals on flights, it’s certainly a brilliant city to visit.

By the end of this article, I’ll not only help you to confirm your decision but will also give you the best idea of exactly where you want to stay while you’re there.

📌14 Best Areas to Stay in Malaga: Where To Stay In Malaga Spain

Malaga is the second-largest city in the Spanish region of Andalusia, the biggest town on the Costa del Sol. Known for its blend of beautiful beaches, historic city sights, and beautiful rural scenery, Malaga is a city that has something for everyone.

The city is broken down into 11 districts. As they all feature their own diverse landscapes and attractions, each will be suited to people looking for a variety of different types of vacation.

From the outside, you might be able to work out a rough idea of where you would prefer to stay but with this article on the 14 best areas and neighborhoods, you should be able to determine exactly where to stay in Malaga to best suit you.

💖 Best Area:Centro (Downtown Malaga, Old City)
💎 Best luxury hotel:Gran Hotel Miramar GL 
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Ilunion Málaga
💰 Best budget hotel:Casa de la Merced Suites 

Best Areas To Stay In Málaga Spain Map

If you want to see more detail of the best places to stay in Malaga Map, go to Google Map.

1. 💖 Centro (Downtown Malaga, Old City), where to stay in Malaga for first time

where to stay in malaga centro
Malaga centro (source: pixabay)

We start of right in the heart of the city in the Centro Malaga or the Old Town, the best area for first time visitors. As with many cities, this aptly named central section is easily the most developed in Malaga and as such has plenty on offer for everyone.

From stunning historic sights in the old part of the city to the vibrant clubs, bars and restaurants downtown, this will give you plenty to fill both your days and evenings with.

It’s also home to one of the most famous beaches in the region, Playa La Malagueta. A lengthy beach provides the opportunity to either relax in the quieter outer edges or be right in the thick of things in the middle. Being located right in the center of Malaga and being near numerous amenities such as bars and shops, this is a beautiful and convenient beach for all to enjoy.

If you stay in Málaga Centro, don’t forget to check out El Palo – just few minutes drive from Centro Málaga to the east. This area has beautiful beaches, great place for family to relax, swim or just wandering around promenade.

If you are a shopper, check out Calle Larios for high-end and luxury shopping. Calle Larios Marques de Larios Street area is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, pubs, tapas bars, boutiques, and souvenir shops.

The accommodation also varies from great value, boutique hotels to high-end luxury hotels so there is something to fit all budgets.

Stay in Centro if you are looking for the best area to stay in Malaga for nightlife, you like traditional tourist luxuries, you enjoy shopping and visit Calle Larios, you like history, want to explore the old town, you want to stay close to Picasso Museum and Plaza de la Merced, you like everything to be close together.

Best Hotels to Stay in Málaga Centro – Old Town:

Best luxury hotel: Gran Hotel Miramar GL This superb, 5-star luxury hotel is set in a luxurious, listed, 20th-century building, just 10 yards from La Malagueta beach, and in walking distance from Malaga Cathedral, and Alcazaba. It offers elegant rooms with air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a private bathroom with a bath, a mirror with temperature and clock, and Bulgari toiletries.

Best mid-range hotels: Ilunion Málaga is a chic, modern, eco-efficient, 4-star hotel, located in the city’s port area. It is within walking distance from the Maria Zambrano Train Station, Picasso Museum, Malaga Cathedral, Malaga Historic Centre. It features an on-site restaurant, a wellness area with an indoor pool, a fitness center, and spacious rooms with wooden floors and decorated in warm colors, air conditioning, free WiFi, a flat-screen satellite TV, a free safe, and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries.

Barceló Malaga This fabulous, 4-star mid-range hotel is located just a 10-minute walk from the city’s historic centre and featuring direct access to Malaga’s AVE high-speed train station. Attractions nearby are Málaga’s Contemporary Art Centre, Picasso Museum, and Málaga Cathedral.

Molina Lario This stylish, 4-star mid-range hotel is located in the heart of the city, where beautiful, modern rooms are housed within a historic, 19th century building. Within walking distance from the Castle of Gibralfaro, Roman amphitheatre, the Alcazaba, and Malagueta Beach

Best budget hotel: Casa de la Merced Suites offers city views and free WiFi, it’s located near Picasso Museum, Misericordia Beach, Museum of Glass and Crystal, Alcazaba, and Gibralfaro Viewpoint.

Best hostel: The Lights Hostel is a great choice for those who want to stay in the city center while traveling on a budget on, 300 m from famous Calle Larios Street. It’s located near Malaga Cathedral and Carmen Thyssen Museum. Each room is air-conditioned, includes bed linen, and single-sex shared shower rooms and toilets on each floor.


Check out my virtual tour of the best places to stay in Malaga in this video:

Where to stay in Malaga: Best Areas to Stay in Malaga, Spain

2. Carretera De Cadiz, southwest of the Malaga Centro district

best area To Stay In Malaga for beaches
Málaga Ahora(source: flick)

Located directly southwest of Centro, Carretera De Cadiz or district 7, features a lot of similar aspects to its neighbor. Comparable in both size and population, it’s the fact that it’s a little less of a tourist hotspot that might be a selling point for many. 

It has all the same attractions like historic sights, a beautiful beach, and ample bars and restaurants to keep you well-fed and entertained of an evening, however with fewer tourists buzzing around you can enjoy what it has to offer more at your own pace. Its location next to Málaga Centro also makes it an easy trip in if you do want a busier day on occasion.

Accommodation is also priced on a wide scale so this again is an area that anyone can afford to stay.

Stay in Carretera De Cadiz if you are interested in history, you like nice beaches, you like lots to be close by, you don’t want to be in the busiest spot.

Best Places to Stay in Carretera De Cadiz:

Vincci Málaga is a designer, 4-star hotel, located on Malaga’s seafront promenade, featuring beautiful, air-conditioned rooms with stunning black and white décor. Within a short drive from Málaga Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Málaga Trade Fair, and AVE high-speed train station.

Hilton Garden Inn Málaga is a beautiful, modern, 4-star luxury hotel that offers all the luxury you would expect from a Hilton property. Martín Carpena Sports and Aquatic Centre and Málaga Convention Centre are in a short drive away.

Ibis Budget Málaga Aeropuerto Avenida de Velazquez is a place that offers everything you would expect based on its name. An affordable hotel located near to the airport, it is ideal for anyone traveling on a budget, on a layover, or worried about missing their flight. Martin Carpena Sports Centre and Málaga Exhibition Centre are located nearby.


3. Churriana, the best area to stay in Malaga near Airport

best place To Stay In Malaga Churriana
Churriana – Cayetano (source: flick)

We move yet another district south-west, to the most south-western district in Malaga, Churriana.

This is where things start to get a little less built up. While still on the edges of the city it is by no means undeveloped, however, being a little more out into the country provides a more relaxed feeling.

Featuring the best collection of beaches in Malaga, Churriana is the place to go if you’re looking for a traditional, laid back beach vacation with the option to venture into a historic city close by if you so choose. It’s also ideal for families with children, as the more relaxed environment allows you a little more space and freedom than you’ll find in the inner city.

It’s also the locations of Malaga’s airport, which only further cements its place as a destination perfect for those wanting to kick back and relax.

Again, the variety of accommodation is quite vast, from budget motels at the Malaga airport to a lush golf resort, so they have you covered whatever you’re looking for.

Stay in Churriana if you enjoy beautiful beaches, you like less built-up areas, you are looking for the best place to stay in Malaga for family with children, you want to be near the Malaga airport, you want to be more out in the country.

Best Places to Stay in MálagaChurriana:

Parador de Málaga Golf is an exquisite golf resort, where rooms with traditional Andalusian style and four poster beds surround a historic, 18-hole golf course. It’s located near Plaza Mayor shopping centre.

La Macarena Airport provides fully equipped apartments, each boasting a full kitchen and sun terrace, located just a short way from the airport. You can easily reach Los Alamos Beach, Automobile and Fashion Museum, Port of Malaga, and Atarazanas Market.

Sunny Beach is a beautiful, privately owned, air-conditioned, beachfront apartment, that boasts a private kitchen and living area. Misericordia Beach is 2km away from the hotel.


4. Ciudad Jardin, a great area for nature lovers

best location to stay in Malaga near airport
Terry Whalebone (source: flick)

It’s time for a change of pace now, as we move to Malaga’s most northernly region of Ciudad Jardin.

Much more detached from the heart of the city, this mountainous region is more suited for those who want to explore or experience some of the islands rural culture.

Being the home to both the Historic Botanical Garden Of La Conception and the Montes De Malaga National Park, those looking to see the natural beauty of the area and how it has evolved throughout the years will have plenty to keep them enthralled throughout their stay.

Its more remote and expansive location make a car a necessity for a trip here but that also makes it a much quieter, less touristy vacation where you can explore the scenery without worrying about crowds.

The accommodation is more expensive here, as it often is in more traditional areas and there is also less of it so make sure to book in advance if this sounds like the trip for you.

Stay in Ciudad Jardin if you like nature, you don’t like crowds, you have a car, you have a little more to spend on accommodation in Malaga, you aren’t bothered by traditional tourist amenities, you like to explore.

Best Hotels in MálagaCiudad Jardin:

Apartamento con parking gratuito This accommodation is a private, fully equipped, air-conditioned, pet-friendly apartment. It’s close to Jorge Rando Museum, Museum of Glass and Crystal. It features 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony with garden views.

Apartamento Segalerva Centro This apartment is superb, privately owned, located just over a mile from La Malagueta beach, Jorge Rando Museum, and Picasso Museum. It has 3 bedrooms, a living room and a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dining area, and 1 bathroom with a bidet and a washing machine.

Modern Family Flat Málaga This apartment has a 2-bedroom, air-conditioned, seating area, a dining area, a kitchen, a private bathroom with a bidet. It’s 1km from Pablo Ruiz Picasso Foundation and Carmen Thyssen Museum.


5. Campanillas, a traditional area in Malaga for walking

Moving now to the north-western region of Malaga, we come to Campanillas. Similar in ways to Ciudad Jardin, this is another less built up area where the focus is on exploration and nature.

However, the big selling points here are more the man-made variety. Sights such as the historic Castillo De Cartama, a beautiful old church and castle, sits high up in the hills while La Casa De Ingeniero, a picturesque house owned by the king of Spain, lies by a stunning lake.

Both of these sites, as well as many other smaller attractions and villages, are dotted around the region, making it a perfect place for those looking to experience some scenic hiking trails.

Again, much like Ciudad Jardin, the accommodation options are a little more expensive here than in the city and are also extremely limited so be sure to make your reservations early.

Stay in Campanillas if you like history, you want a more traditional area, you like walking, you like beautiful scenery.

Best Hotels in MálagaCampanillas:

Posadas de España Malaga is a stylish, modern hotel, located near Malaga’s Botanical Gardens and the A-7 Motorway, in Andalusia’s Technology Park. It’s within 15 minutes drive to the beaches of the Costa de Sol.

Hotel Plaza del Castillo is a beautiful, medieval hotel, where a castle façade, stained-glass windows, stone walls and traditional paintings are surrounded by ornate gardens, to completely immerse you in this unique property. It’s 10 minutes drive from Congress Palace and the Cortijo Torres Fairground.

Hostal Doña Manuela is a great value option next to Andalusia Technology Park, which is ideal for those traveling on a budget. Carmen Thyssen Museum and Calle Larios are 1km from the hotel.


6. Este, the largest district in Malaga with caves, coastal views

Este best neighborhood to stay in Malaga
Manolo Gómez (source: flick)

The easternmost and most expansive area in the region, Este is somewhat a combination of many of the previous areas we’ve looked at.

While large sections of it are rural and distanced from the inner city, it also features beautiful stretches of coastline and stunning beaches, that allow you to combine the relaxation of a beach holiday with your inner explorer that’s been dying to get out.

Some of its attractions include a cave system to explore, a water park to go wild at or any number of the aforementioned beaches to relax at while looking at the amazing coastal views.

The accommodation here is a little more expensive than in the city, though not too pricey. You do however tend to get a lot more for your money here with some stunning places to say so even if you’re paying more, you’ll still get great value for money.

Stay in Este if you like beaches, you prefer more attractive accommodation, you enjoy coastal views, you like value for money, you like caves.

Best Hotels in Este:

Apartamentos Pedregalejo provides superb, air-conditioned apartments, each featuring a private kitchen, bathroom and terrace, and free wifi. It’s close to La Malagueta Beach, Gibralfaro Viewpoint, and Alcazaba.

Elcano is a peaceful, traditional, affordable destination, located just 250 yards from the beach, and near El Candado Nautical and Golf Club.

Hotel Boutique Villa Lorena by Charming Stay This boutique hotel provides guests the chance to stay in one of 7 bedrooms at a beautiful private villa in a residential neighborhood.


7. Palma-Palmilla, easy access area to Malaga centro

Where To Stay In Malaga Palma
Palma Blake Handley (source: flick)

Our penultimate region of Palma-Palmilla runs up the entire western border of Ciudad Jardin and meets Centro at its north-western point.

This is a region that provides a nice combination of rural beauty with city convenience. Its attractions range from the stunning views of Monte Coronado to the beautifully designed Estadio La Rosaleda, home to the Malaga football team.

Whether you want to be on the fringes of the city or more out in the country, this is a region that will have options to suit you regardless.

Much like the region as a whole, its accommodation is just as diverse so whether you want a low budget or high end, Palma-Palmilla should have you covered.

Stay in Palma-Palmilla if you enjoy a diverse location, you want a rural trip with ease of access to the city, you like football.


8. Cruz De Humilladero, best area with great transport links

Where To Stay In Malaga Cruz De Humilladero malaga
Fredrik Rubensson (source: flick)

Our final stop brings us to the region of Cruz De Humilladero, located on the western border of Centro.

This is the region perfectly designed for tourists that want to be near to the city but not stuck within its confines. It has incredible transport links including Malaga’s main train station, the Maria Zambrano, to make getting anywhere from the city to beaches or the airport a breeze.

It also features a number of international stores, such as Lidl and Primark, to make tourists feel right at home on their travels.

As we’re back near the city, the prices are again very wide-ranging so if the convenient hub location sounds just right for you then you don’t need to be worrying about price.

Stay in Cruz De Humilladero if you like home comforts on your travels, you like great transport links, you want to be both near the city but not caught up in it.

Best Hotels in Cruz De Humilladero:

Hostal La Casa de Enfrente provides guests will small yet affordable, pet friendly rooms, all of which feature free wifi and a private bathroom. Carranque Metro Station is within walking distance.

Hotel Goartín is a fabulous destination, featuring comfortable, modern, air-conditioned rooms in a traditionally styled hotel. It’s close to Málaga’s María Zambrano Train Station and Huelin Beach.

Apartamento Tía María is a fabulous, private apartment, featuring air-conditioning and free wifi throughout. Misericordia Beach, the Atarazanas Market, Jorge Rando Museum, and Malaga Park are located less them 3km away.

Kentia Rooms is a traditional, pet friendly guest house, featuring simple, air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and flat screen TV. The property also features a communal terrace, garden and fully equipped kitchen, so you always have somewhere to relax or prepare your meals.


9. Calle Larios, with a beautiful view of its harbor

Calle Larios is one of the most modern parts of the city centre, located just a short way from the heart of Malaga. A busy tourist area, it is filled with amenities like bars, cafes, restaurants, hotels and shops. This provides ample choice, although does come at a slightly higher price.

The collection of bars and pubs in the area helps to create one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes in the city. This has made it popular with younger visitors, who often seek out a vibrant, party atmosphere to enjoy during their vacation.

Calle Larios also has the benefit of being located near the stunning harbour. This not only allows it to offer incredible views of the ocean and boats bobbing around in the water, but it also makes it ideal for anyone planning to take a cruise or stopping off while already on one.

Stay In Calle Larios If you want to take a cruise or are stopping while already on one, you want a vibrant nightlife atmosphere, you want to be located near the city centre, surrounded by amenities.

Best places to stay in Calle larios:


10. Malaga Train Station – Maria Zambrano

Not to be confused with the town of the same name on the outskirts of the city, Maria Zambrano Station is located near the center of the city. The busiest rail terminal in Malaga, it is ideal for anyone coming to or leaving the city by train.

An incredibly busy area, it isn’t a good choice for anyone looking for a quiet getaway. However, an abundance of shopping and dining options adds to its convenience. Despite being so popular, it also features very affordable prices, making it a good choice for those traveling on a budget.

Stay In Malaga Train Station – Maria Zambrano If you are traveling by train or on a budget, you want to be surrounded by amenities, you aren’t looking for a quiet break.

Best places to stay near Malaga Train Station – Maria Zambrano:


11. Soho, one of the trendiest area in Malaga

Located near the heart of the city, Soho is one of the hippest, trendiest areas in Malaga. The Malaga Arte Urbano Soho (MAUS) has turned the neighbourhood into an area perfect for art fans. Meanwhile, boutique hotels give you a stylish place to enjoy your trip from.

Vibrant street art lines every road, with different artists leading to an eclectic mix of styles and colours. Street performers and food vendors further the bohemian atmosphere, helping you to embrace the unique cuisine, culture and talents of the area.

The area was allowed to develop its style as it had become a little more run down than the rest of the city. This means you will find much fewer visitors, helping you have a quieter break, as well as a number of cheap hotels and hostels, ideal for those travelling on a budget.

Stay In Soho If you want to stay in a vibrant neighbourhood, you are a fan of art, you are travelling on a budget.

Best places to stay in Soho:


12. La Malagueta, a quiet residential area in Malaga

Located in the eastern part of the city, La Malagueta is a quiet, residential, beachfront neighbourhood. With everything catering largely to locals, it means you can experience some fabulous traditional cuisines and wares, for a much more reasonable price.

The beautiful beach offers a peaceful atmosphere, perfect for days relaxing on the sand, topping up your tan, or having fun in the water. Meanwhile, there are also a few authentic Malagan sights you can see, such as a bullfighting ring and some stunning churches.

Stay In La Malagueta If you want to stay near the beach, you want a quiet atmosphere, away from the city centre, you want to experience some local cuisines and customs, you are interested in ocean views, churches, or a bullring.

Best places to stay in La Malagueta:


13. Pedregalejo, a residential area with authentic experience

Pedregalejo is another largely residential area, located even further east from the city centre. A village centred around fishing; you will find a quiet community containing some of the best seafood restaurants in the city. 

You may even have the chance to book a tour out on one of the many traditional wooden fishing boats if you are lucky.

Combined with beautiful beaches and a small collection of bars with a traditional atmosphere, it is the perfect spot for anyone seeking an authentic Spanish break. As everything is geared towards locals, it even offers reasonable prices, so won’t pose a problem for those on a budget.

Stay In Pedregalejo If you are a fan of fresh seafood, you want to go out on a fishing boat, you want a quiet, authentic experience, away from the city centre, you are looking for something a little more affordable.

Best places to stay in Pedregalejo:


14. El Palo, a quiet small village on the east of Malaga

El Palo lies in the far east of the city, around 7 kilometres from the city centre. An almost completely residential area, it is a great choice for anyone looking for an authentic experience. Bars, shops and restaurants are all geared towards the local population. 

This not only means you’ll see the true flavour of the local cuisine, but you’ll pay a lot less for it as well. Known for its fabulous beach and fishing community, you can relax on the sand, enjoying ocean views and fresh seafood in peace.

Offering great value and a slower pace makes El Palo ideal for those travelling as a family, especially if you have small children. Small, family run hotels and guest houses let your completely relax, without being surrounded by mobs of tourists.

Stay In El Palo If you want a small, quiet village, you don’t mind being detached from the city centre, you are travelling as a family or with children.

Best places to stay in El Palo:


Should I Stay In Malaga Or Marbella?

Malaga and Marbella are located very close together and as such people often end up deciding between the two when it comes to taking a trip.

While Marbella features a lot of similar sights and cultures, Malaga is a much bigger place and so has a more diverse range of landscapes and attractions. If Marbella has everything you want then maybe go there, as it is more condensed, but if you like a little more variety, Malaga is definitely the better option.

Is Malaga Worth Visiting?

Malaga is one of those cities that provides a little bit of everything. It has some historical sites, beautiful beaches, diverse landscapes and, of course, plenty of bars and restaurants.

Now, if you’re looking for something specific, like a pure beach vacation or a historical expedition then there are definitely better options but as far as destinations for an all-round trip go, Malaga is a fantastic option.

Is Malaga Expensive?

When it comes to price, Malaga can really be anything you want it to be. There are plenty of low costs, cheap and cheerful options that anyone can afford, as well as pricier, more exclusive options.

As far as cities go though, Malaga is generally one which provides fantastic value. Food, transport, and accommodation can all be acquired relatively cheaply so cost isn’t an issue you have to worry about with this destination.

How Many Days Should You Spend In Malaga?

This is hard to say, as, with so much variety on offer, there could be a number of reasons why you’re visiting in the first place.

That said, this isn’t a city with endless sights to see like some more historic cities. This is a place to enjoy a relaxing break while taking in a little bit of history and culture.

For most people between 1 and 2 weeks is probably the ideal amount of time to spend in Malaga.

Where To Stay In Malaga With A Baby/Toddler?

If you’re deciding on which area to stay in Malaga with a baby or toddler, I would have to lead you towards Churriana. Located in the southwest of the city, it is just far enough away to have the amenities of the center reassuringly close, while at the same time giving you a little more space in a slower environment so you can focus on your little one.

It’s also the location of the airport so there’s no worry about having to get them to settle on a car ride when they’ve just gotten off a plane.

Where To Stay In Malaga For Couples?

If you’re looking for a romantic break in Malaga, then I would highly recommend staying in the region of Este. Located on the coast to the east of the city, it features breath-taking scenic views, beautiful beaches, and gorgeous accommodation at a very affordable price. 

It’s also not too far from the center if you want to treat yourself to an expensive night out in the city. Perfect for those couples looking for a little bit of quality time together.

Where To Stay In Malaga For Nightlife?

If it’s nightlife you’re after in Malaga, then you absolutely have to stay in the Centro district. Home to the city’s busiest bars, clubs, and restaurants, there’s simply no other place to go when you want to eat, drink and dance the night away.

Where To Stay In Malaga In February Or March?

If you’re coming to Malaga in February or March, the best place to stay has to be Carretera De Cadiz. The reason for this is because this is the time of year that the incredible Malaga Carnival is celebrated.

The exact date varies from year to year, based on when Easter occurs, but whenever it is you will be treated to stunning parades, parties and live performances that entertain you while at the same time bringing to life the culture of the city.

The carnival takes place in Centro, so you may wonder why I’m not suggesting you stay there. Well, the reason is that during the carnival the city is incredibly busy, which means not only do prices go up but sometimes things can get a little too much.

Staying just outside provides you with a little breathing room, yet still keeps you right near the heart of things, all while providing some great deals on places to stay.

Where To Stay In Malaga In The Winter?

If you’re coming to Malaga in the winter, it’s unlikely you’re looking for a beach vacation, which means you’ll be looking for a place that has plenty to explore. With that in mind, I would have to recommend Ciudad Jardin.

One of the larger areas in Malaga, it has plenty of things to do and see to keep you active throughout your stay. In fact, winter may even be the best time to experience this area, as the weather is still pleasant, but you don’t have to worry about the sun blazing down on you as you explore.

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Well, there you have it, my list of the 14 best areas to stay in Malaga – where to stay in Malaga, Spain.

Best described as a swiss army knife of a city, it isn’t the best place to go for anyone singular thing, however, it may be one of the best places to go for those who want a variety of experiences.

Whether exploring, partying, or lazing your days away on a beach, Malaga is a city that has something to offer for everyone and is well worth a visit, no matter what you look for in a vacation.

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